Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari
For those who can’t afford one of Maranello’s finest the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari could be just the ticket. The limited-edition Fiat 500 could also appeal to Ferrari owners who want a small everyday car. In doing so it will be tapping a similar market that Aston Martin is eyeing with its Toyota iQ-based Cygnet.However, the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari will have more performance than the Cygnet, as it is powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged T-Jet engine with "more than 177bhp". This is linked to an electromechanical paddle-shift gearbox. The suspension and braking systems have been strengthened to cope with the extra power; 284mm Brembo discs with four-piston calipers provide stopping power.
Seat Leon Cupra R
If you want maximum bangs for your bucks the Leon Cupra R takes some beating. The new range-topping Leon is fitted with the same engine that will appear in the Scirocco R, a modified version of the EA113 2.0-litre direct injection from the previous Golf GTI.However the Cupra R is expected to undercut the top Scirocco by at least £5000, retailing at around £21,000 in the UK. This makes the Cupra R not only the most potent production Seat ever but also as powerful as the title-winning SEAT Leon TDI World Touring Car.The front-wheel-drive Leon is now capable of hitting 62mph in 6.1sec and a top speed of 155mph. Combined fuel consumption is just under 35mpg. Filling the arches are 19in double-spoke alloy wheels with 235/35 tyres.Inside, the Cupra logo features on the leather steering wheel and competition-style bucket seats, while the ‘R’ appears on the LED-lit dials. The Cupra R is highly likely to make it to the UK market but this has yet to be confirmed.
Volkswagen Golf R
If your idea of a hot Golf is a boxy hatchback from the seventies and eighties, with low weight and modest power, then turn away now. This is the Golf R is the most powerful and quickest variant of the firm’s hatchback ever to reach production. With 266bhp, 236lb ft of torque and a new hydraulic four-wheel drive system, the Golf R can go from 0-62mph in 5.7sec, or 5.5sec if equipped with VW’s DSG dual-clutch transmission. Its top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.Closely linked to the set-up used in Audi’s S3, the new four-wheel drive system is designed to react more quickly than the Haldex transmission from the previous-gen Golf R32, and up to 100 per cent of torque can be apportioned to the rear wheels. Power comes from a tuned version of Volkswagen’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder EA113 engine, the unit used in the last-generation Golf GTI and the current Audi S3. It receives a new head gasket, uprated pistons and conrods, and high-pressure injectors, as well as an upgraded turbocharger and a revised intercooler.